What are the pros and cons of using an online nanny site vs a nanny agency? Your greatest concerns in life revolve around your children and home. When you need some extra help at home, a nanny or babysitter, how should you  go about finding the perfect one, the one just right for your family? 

Should you go with a ‘do-it-yourself’ online site? Or hire a service to do the sleuthing for you. What are the pros and cons of using an online nanny agency versus a full service agency? We checked with some experts in the industry and have some pros and cons to help you decide which way is best for your family.

Complete control. An online company gives parents complete control over the process. Some parents feel that they know their needs and their family better than anyone, and want to do it all themselves.

Price. An online service is much less expensive initially than an agency. Some online companies charge only $45 per month and a Phoenix nanny agency can be anywhere from $800 to $3,500.

Candidates. There are lots of candidates to choose from. There are outstanding, experienced candidates mixed in with others. Experience levels vary greatly. For example, Care.com requires candidates to have worked in three different homes at least one time each. Most ‘brick and mortar’ agencies require a minimum of one to two years experience outside friends and family.

Convenience. Since it’s all online, a parent can do a lot of the work after hours.

Cons of an online service

Time. Initially it may seem easy and some families find a great choice quickly and move forward, but others find it confusing because there are so many nanny candidates and it takes a lot of time to review resumes, interview candidates, call references, get quality background checks, get copies of Driver’s Licenses, proof of auto insurance, First Aid, CPR certifications and validate the knowledge base of each candidate.


One family was successful, but recounts: “I found someone good but it wasn’t easy. I spent a lot of hours interviewing and checking references…hours that I didn’t have. I saved some money, but if I had it to do over, I would find an agency that does more of the work.”

Another comment was, “I didn’t realize all the stuff that ultimately fell on my plate.” And again, “I had no idea that they don’t even meet the nannies. They have a lot of resumes but I gave up after a while. It was like finding a needle in a haystack.”

Pros of a Full-Service Agency

Streamlined Hiring Process: An agency has the ability to determine your needs and send candidates for interviewing within a day or two. Judi Merlin of A Friend of the Family Staffing Corporation in Athens, Georgia, tells us that her vetting process for nannies takes 15-20 hours.

“We have found that only 1 in 10 applicants successfully complete our process,” she adds.

There for you during and after the placement. One of the most valuable benefits of going with a nanny agency is being able to work with one person who will guide you through the process. One family in the Breedlove survey stated: ” I liked being able to do a lot of the work online to save time. But I thought most of their nannies were un-hireable and I didn’t have anyone to call when I needed help.” Mimi Brady of Westside Nannies in Los Angeles tells us: “Most agencies always provide ears to listen, even after a nanny has been placed, and this can be extremely helpful in working on glitches regarding training your new nanny and miscommunications.”

Back-up help and support. If a family uses an agency, they can call for a last minute substitute sitter in case of an emergency. If a placement doesn’t work out, most agencies guarantee the placement for three months.

If you  have any questions about the process of finding just the right nanny or babysitter for your family, we’re glad to help. You can give us a call at 480-946-3423 or fill out a Family Application to start your personalized search today.

Cons of a Brick and Mortar Agency

Price. It is definitely more expensive to hire a nanny or babysitter though an on-line service, but time and having a stress-free experience are more valuable to many families than the money they would save.

Loss of control. Some parents prefer to be in charge of the whole process themselves.

Pros of a Do it Yourself Website

Failure Rate. One out of three online hires results in a failed placement, according to a study by Breedlove, a nanny tax service. There is also the consideration of a failed placement and children who have grown to like a nanny or babysitter only to have them leave. There is also the fear factor of meeting a person in your home who may not be who they seem.

Each family’s budget, time constraints and priorities are what will determine the best way to go about hiring a nanny or babysitter. The bottom line for every family is the safety and well-being of their children.

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Carol is a warm, vibrant and highly dedicated nanny with over six years of nanny experience with three families! She started babysitting at age 10. With a medical degree, she was working at a very busy medical clinic as well as setting up specialty clinics in Minnesota until her family relocated to Phoenix. “It was very stressful and when we moved to Arizona, I just wanted to get out of the healthcare field and be able to play and just have fun, caring for children. No stress, no drama. I just love nannying-it’s just the best,” she confided. In the Fall of 2012, we placed Carol as a nanny with a 3 year old girl two days per week, and just this week, she took an additional part-time nanny job for two days with a two year old and a newborn.

Carol loves children, and it shows! “They’re so much fun!” she shared. ‘Kids need to feel special. It’s a lot of work, but its so much fun. It’s about building a relationship with the children and the parents. If the children are happy, the parents are happy, and then I’m happy. it’s a win-win”. She’s fun-loving and active with children in all her nanny positions, diving into the pool for toys, playing hide ‘n go seek, tag, bike riding, reading, walks, exploring, and encouraging independence as much as possible. “One key is letting them win games. It makes them feel so special when the parents come home and they say, ‘Mom, I beat Carol at ‘Pig’!’”

Carol is flexible, and has done extensive travel with past families. Carol’s own family works around their schedule. Her current family flies her to Chicago frequently and once they brought Carol’s 10 year old daughter along so her six year old charge would have someone to play with and they had a blast: “We went to the park, the zoo, we walked miles. My nanny job works so well. My employer is the kindest lady ever! She’s been so kind to me. This nanny position has been a really good thing for me. I don’t look at it so much as a job. I love it and do whatever they need me to do.”

With her young Kindergarten charge in tow, Carol can be found exploring on a Saturday with a backpack filled with water and snacks and no plans. “Its’ an adventure and we see where we end up. I like to come up with fun things, like: ‘Today we’re going to see how many parks we can play at’”.  They call it park-hoping and found 6 parks in one day. “She’s so smart for her age,” remarks Carol about her charge. We’re always cooking and baking, and doing tons of crafts. We go to Michaels, pick up craft items, do painting, or make cards. The parents went off for a weekend and we put paint on her hands and feet and prints all over a paper and we hung it up with the words: ‘Happy Birthday, Dad.’”

Carol is compassionate, patient, adventurous, cheerful, and her medical background makes her extra safety-conscious. She loves teaching sports skills like hitting a ball with a bat or swimming. A favorite memory was a little fellow who loved basketball. Carol lowered the net so he could be successful. Carol is experienced with infants through school age, and is a pro at potty training. She’s happy to help with homework, do family laundry, straighten up the house, menu plan, grocery shop, run errands and is a gourmet cook!

Carols own daughters are 10, 15 and 18 years old and her husband travels a lot. “My kids are pretty self-sufficient, and normally I’m home by 4-5 in the afternoon. Her family loves to go camping and travel in their motor-home. This summer she took her paraplegic cousin on a month long motor-home trip, and cared for him 24/7 with her 10 year old. Her close-knit family loves any kind of outside activities, camping at Lake Pleasant, and other favorite places. Thanks for all your great work, Carol, and congratulations on your new position!

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Nanny agencies around the country have been turning away requests from families for the traditional after-school nanny. What’s happened to the traditional college students?

This fall, Caring Nannies had nine After-School Nanny positions available. We were unable to place any of them! Nanny agencies around the country are no longer even accepting these requests. Where have all the traditional after school nannies gone? For the past 31 years we’ve been able to source students from ASU and the surrounding community colleges to fill these crucial positions typically from 2 to 6 pm. The nannies have their traditional classes in the mornings, drive to pick up the  school-aged children, take them home for a snack, and then get started on homework. They transport them to appointments, dance, soccer or Karate practice with socks, tennis shoes, tights and mouth guards. These hardworking nannies  throw in a load of laundry and prep dinner or at least get a salad ready or feed and bathe the kids. They’re typically paid $15 to $16 per hour and it’s worked out great. But now they’re just extinct. They don’t apply for these jobs. The truth is, they need full-time hours to meet rising costs of school, and they’re doing online classes so they can do it all. Or, according to Daryl Camarillo at Stanford Park Nannies in Menlo Park,  they’re seeking positions that will compliment their resume or matche their career paths.
Caring Nannies has a few suggestions.

1. Keep your child in an after-school program and try to utilize Saturday sports and dance options.

2. Give an after-school nanny a higher wage, like $18-$20 per hour.

3. Give the nanny longer hours. Give her 30-35 hours per week and expand her duties. She may cook 2-3 family dinners per week. She can grocery shop, do family laundry, iron shirts, make travel plans, research summer camps, or do full housekeeping. Over the course of a week, she can focus on 1-2 areas of the home per day and clean the entire house within a five day stretch.

4. Another suggestion from Daryl is to be satisfied with semester-long placements, as college students change classes, since students change teachers sometimes each semester. You can have the outgoing nanny help hire and train the new one.
5.  By the age of 12, many families allow a child to stay home alone. Clinical psychologist Angela Bowers feels that children ages 10 and over have the ability to stay home for a couple of hours occasionally, but that it shouldn’t be overdone, since they can begin to feel lonely and isolated. Determining factors are how responsible they are, who their friends are, and if they know how to handle emergency situations.

It’s frustrating, we know. Spring is right around the corner and our recruiting staff is walking the campuses at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers college in Northwest Phoenix, Grand Canyon UniversityParadise Valley Community CollegeScottsdale Community College,  Mesa Community College and ASU main in Tempe, talking to career services, posting on job boards and still not getting quality experienced applicants. We want to help in any way we can. I hope some of these suggestions help if you’re searching for after-school help after the holidays.

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Some families keep their nanny for years, while others go through a string of nannys, leaving children confused. It’s a lot of work finding your dream nanny, but the hardest part is after the hire, developing a strong ongoing relationship. Think about your own work environment and how your boss treats you. Realize that she’s a professional in her own right.

1. Does she know you appreciate her? Express your appreciation to your nanny out loud frequently, and give her respect and support, especially in front of the children. Don’t allow your children to be disrespectful to her and never speak unkindly to her. Zoe from Unnecessary Wisdom tells the story of her own part time nanny job and a boss who hosted an executive company Christmas party. She invited Zoe to attend and hired a sitter for the event. She raised a toast and asked her husband and Zoe  to stand, announcing: “To my husband and Zoe – the two most important people in my life. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.” Zoe recounts her undying devotion to this family for years afterwards.

2. Are you really Communicating? Take time to establish regular communication routines with your nanny, daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Take 15 minutes weekly to review her plans and schedule for the following week. Share developmental goals, ideas for the household, your frustrations, and listen to hers as well. Initiate a Nanny Log and ask her to make notes daily and actually read them, occasionally leaving notes of your own or give written praise for a job well done.

3. How do you resolve conflicts? Think before you speak. Focus on creating a win-win solution, not on being right. How can she effectively play with your children, dance with them, sing to them, cuddle with them, put them to sleep if you yell at her or give her the cold shoulder? The fingerprints on the microwave may be bothering you. You know it’s silly and not worth mentioning, because you’re OCD, and you don’t want to rock the boat because she’s home with your baby all day. She already knows something is wrong, but can’t get you to tell her. The baby knows too. It could be something more serious, and I know it’s hard for you to bring it up, but after the first time, it gets easier. The process of resolving conflict will actually bond you both closer together when done quickly, before it festers. Take care of it the same day it occurs, or as soon as possible.

4. Are you micromanaging? If you’ve done your homework and found a nanny you can trust, then trust her. It’s not fun being under a critical eye. A  good parent draws forth the qualities they envision for their child. Likewise, your faith in your nanny, knowing she’ll do well, creates confidence and a desire to please you even more.

5. Are you adding more duties and hours? Don’t keep adding more chores or hours without additional compensation.

6. Is she bored? Encourage her to get out and go on playdates, trips to the zoo, the park, the Children’s Museum or the Butterfly Wonderland. Being a nanny is isolating. The interaction and stimulation will benefit your child.

7. Is your pay and benefits package competitive? If you’re able, are you giving her raises when you get a raise at your job?

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We love spending precious time with our children, but you want and need to get away for a date-night, a wedding, or just a ‘mental health break’. But you can only enjoy your time away if you’ve done your homework and have a trustworthy sitter giving your children an equally enjoyable time too! I’m the preferred sitter for my grandchildren, but I can’t always be there, so they’ve had to find outside help.

Choosing a sitter can be a very intimidating task and there are several aspects to evaluate. Get a list of possible candidates, and start phone screening.

1. Even if the referral is from a friend, follow your gut level feelings during the first phone call. Does she come across as cheerful, friendly, and confident? A babysitter’s most important job is to be a good role model, and if you’re not feeling totally comfortable, move on to the next person.
Call her references, asking behavioral based questions. How do the children feel about her? Does she hug and kiss them? Is she timely, safety-conscious?
Does she live close-by, so if you like her, she’ll be more likely to return? Has she had recent experience with the ages of my children? You don’t even want to bring someone into your home unless they have passed this much screening.

2. When she walks through the door, does she come prepared, with a book or simple activities for older children? Does she get down on the floor to connect with them? Does she ask pertinent questions?

3. Before leaving home, go through the house rules and define any out of bound areas. Jenny, our Family Coordinator, never leaves home without reviewing the Heimlich Maneuver, since she’s personally had so many close calls. Show her how to turn off the water main in case of a busted pipe. Show her where the First Aid Kit is and flashlights in case of a power outage. Leave your cell phone phone numbers plus one or more alternates who live nearby – a neighbor is perfect – as well as your Pediatrician and where you’ll be.

4. After the sitting, do more sleuthing.
What did she do during your absence? Did she bring some creative ideas or crafts  that ware age appropriate? A favorite book? Or did they watch TV?
Do the children like her and want her back again?  Even an infant can tell you a lot. Was he tense or relaxed? Older children can tell you if she was on her phone or texting.

Was she able to get the children to bed on time without too much trouble with teeth brushed and baths or faces washed?

How did the house look when you walked in?

Did she give you a report of how the evening went including any snags?

5. Find a sitter before you need one. Perhaps you don’t need a sitter right now, but when you do need one, you want to be prepared so you’re not neglecting any steps in the process.
A good sitter is a valuable addition to your family. Getting out and alone for adult conversations strengthens your marriage and gives you a balanced perspective on who you are. We Moms quickly find our significance in our Mothering, but that’s only a part of who we are. Surprisingly, it also gives children immense security when they see you walking out the door hand in hand, even if they fuss a bit the first time.

If you’re in need of a good babysitter, feel free to contact our office. The babysitters we send out on Temp jobs are candidates who we’ve already placed in permanent positions, so we know them well. They have current CPR and First Aid as well as an up to date full background check. They’ve filled out a five-page application, had extensive interview in our office and detailed references checked, which are open for you to peruse. We also have 24/7 phone access for after hours and weekend last minute needs.

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Nanny background screening is more than a Nanny Background check. The nanny industry – nannies, nanny referral professionals, nanny background screeners and educators – share an overwhelming concern for the wellbeing of the children being cared for by A nanny in their home. We are all child care professionals. Sadly, there is yet another story makingthe news rounds about a nanny hired from an online venue mistreating the children in her care. The nanny was ‘caught’ on a nanny cam.

The International Nanny Association (INA) and the Alliance of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA) want to inform parents that a computerized background check is quite simply insufficient ‘screening’ to evaluate a nanny applicant. The digital, criminal “background check” creates a false sense of security for families.

True nanny background screening also must include careful, probing interviews, and thorough reference checks. INA  and APNA agency members are experts at nanny screening.

So what do families need to do to carefully screen a nanny applicant?

  1. Verify Applicant Identity: It is only logical to first confirm that the individual applicant is who she says she is. Government issued photo identification should be reviewed at the beginning of any nanny interview. This can be a drivers’ license, passport, or a state-issued identification card.
  2. Gather a Comprehensive Work History: INA member Daryl Camarillo, Stanford Park Nannies, recommends that families “Verify and interview all previous employers (even non-childcare related) and do a thorough accounting for all gaps in work history.”
  3. Interview Carefully: A common mistake families make is using the interview to determine if the nanny is agreeable to hours, pay and scope of duties. This is totally insufficient to find out if this candidate will be a quality nanny. A good rule of thumb is if the interviewer is talking more than the person being interviewed, you are not asking the right questions. Behavioral interviewing is the gold standard.INA member Marc Lenes, Wee Care Nanny Agency, states that “It is imperative to meet and get to know the potential nanny in person. Together you should go over a comprehensive employment application and zero in on gaps in work history, discuss previous JOBS in detail and gauge responses to gently probing questions that will help with the vetting process.”Australia’s Placement Solutions’ Louise Dunham shares “Three techniques we use are 1) listen carefully for the pregnant pauses when questioning a referee ..the nervous schooled referees sometimes confess here; 2) asking an open ended question such as “Describe  to me your typical day looking after a baby and a toddler” will soon show you whether they have actually spent a day doing that and whether they are proactive carers and 3) lastly a trick question ” under what circumstances would you smack a child?” The ONLY answer we want is ‘Never ‘.”Sandra Costantino, Neighborhood Nannies, has more than 30 years experience matching nannies and families. She reports “So often we are told by our families about “gut reaction.”  There is absolutely no substitute for that than in meeting A potential
    candidate in person and looking into their eyes and understanding their body language and their answer to questions asked and their comments in general.  A wealth of knowledge is transferred without even knowing it. You cannot get that ‘online‘.”

4. VerifyReferences:HomeWork SolutionsKathleen Webb advises families to “Personally speak to all references. Verify how they know the applicant. Ask questions and wait for answers. Avoid giving verbal clues of agreement or disagreement.”Fake references are a real problem for families HIRING A NANNY.Experienced NANNY AGENCY staff are highly skilled at detecting references that are simply “off.” When checking a work reference, you may want to ask questions such as “When did she work for you?” or “Tell me about your children – how old were they?” You will be surprised how often the person coached to give the reference trips up on the fine details. When talking to a nanny’s references, experienced reference checkers often try to obtain a third party or ‘wild card’ reference. This would be someone else known by both the reference and the candidate whom you may use as an additional reference. Third party references are invaluable, as they have most likely not been cherry-picked by the candidate and have not been briefed on the reference check ahead of time.

5. Schedule a Second, Working Interview: Bring the candidate back at a time when you and the children are both present. Allow the applicant to observe your typical family rhythms, patterns, and interactions. After some orientation, step back and allow some time for the applicant to interact with the children independently (you observe). Of course you will pay the applicant for her time.

The International Nanny Association (INA) is dedicated to helping families find quality in-home childcare. The APNA is a regulated membership organization that establishes standards in the nanny and household staffing industry. Both organizations recognize that families are increasingly turning to online nanny recruiting venues when hiring. The INA and APNA feel strongly that the information above can assist a family to better screen their nanny job applicants. We further recommend that families who are not confident in their interview and screening skills, or simply do not have the time or talent to perform this thorough vetting, strongly consider engaging the services of a professional NANNY REFERRAL agency. “Liking a nanny isn’t enough, we’d would argue your children deserve more,” advises Jami Denis, ABC Nannies.” Hiring a professional nanny agency to walk you through the screening, interviewing, hiring and employment process allows parents peace of mind when they need it most.”  APNA member agencies can be found at the online directory athttp://apnananny.org. INA member agencies can be found in the online directory at Nanny.org.
Thank you to our partners at the INA for this guest blog

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Nanny of the Month, Tina Steinke, is a down to earth Phoenix nanny with three years of professional experience with ages newborn through five years. She loves everything domestic, teaching and encouraging children and making a home run smoothly and effortlessly. She loves the physical part of this career, including playing, being creative, teaching, organizing, cleaning and cooking. She tells us, “I could be out in the corporate world, but I feel that family life is so important and if children can have that stable person in the home that brings them security, I can bring that to them.”
She’s worked in homes with at-home Moms, and says, “Juggling a home and young children is a lot”. She’ll clean the kitchen, stock the diaper caddy, get meals together, clean and do laundry, allowing an at-home Mom more quality time with the children. Her biggest strength is her ability to multitask and her organizational skills. Tina has a calm, effective manner and an upbeat, happy, energetic and cheerful personality. Some of the fun activities she sets up for children are little tubs of water outside with plastic cups for water play, paper crafts, art, music, making obstacle courses, ribbon flags for twirling or dancing.

She loves taking children to the park, stroller walks, or making pictures for Mom and Dad. She home-schooled her children for eight years and incorporates reading books with every activity. “There’s so much

activity that makes children’s brains mush.” Tina is good at talking to children and teaching them about the world and then helping them connect the dots, think about things and be creative. She asks questions, asks about feelings, sings songs while in the car or on walks. When we asked Tina about her favorite memories she mentioned, “The precious and humorous things that come out of a two or four year old’s mouth. The way they process things is so funny. The big smile that comes on their face when they know I’m cooking their favorite meal.”
During down time, Tina is happy to straighten, organize a pantry, clean out a fridge, prepare food, go grocery shopping, or organize. “I love doing that, making things more user friendly, and I do family laundry in between. “I really enjoy when the family gives me responsibilities. That’s why I love children and home management, because it’s active work.” Tina recently accepted an after-school nanny position in her North Central Phoenix neighborhood with an eight year old boy and a six year old girl, and is doing a trial week with the family to assure it’s a good match. In her free time, Tina enjoys sewing, swimming, hiking, biking, playing games, crafts of all kinds and reading.

Beth Weise

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What Additional tasks can my Nanny take on? Depending on your children’s ages and schedule, your Nanny can partner with you to make your life easier, giving you more time with your loved ones. You don’t need to rush home, start dinner and be up folding laundry late into the night.

Laundry. Children’s laundry and bedding are normally taken care of by the Nanny, but many Nannies also do family laundry and strip beds. Nannies normally organize kids drawers and closets, switching out seasonal clothing, mending or removing clothing that no longer fits and taking it to a charity to be recycled. But some Nannies also organize family closets and cupboards.

Shopping. Nanny-Managers typically will keep a running list of items that are running low, and go shopping to replenish the pantry and fridge. She’ll routinely refresh the fridge, removing older leftovers. She can plan a family’s favorite menus and do the weekly shopping. Dry Cleaning, getting the oil changed for the family car can also be coordinated. Some Nannies do the seasonal shopping for children’s clothing or are responsible for returns and exchanges.

Cooking. Nannies routinely cook breakfast and lunch and sometimes dinner for children, but many Nannies also make dinner every night for the family, or do the prep work if parents enjoy cooking. If a Nanny isn’t confident enough to cook for adults, smart families instruct them to make dinner for the kids and have leftovers for the parents, alleviating the pressure for a hesitant Nanny. Most nannies are willing to follow a recipe and give it a try, saving you time a few nights a week.

Extracurricular Activities: Nannies will arrange for play dates, plan field trips to the library, zoo or museums, or do research on Summer Camps or Preschools and interesting opportunities in the community. Nannies of school-agers routinely communicate with teachers or monitor assignments online.

Each situation and family is different, and amounts of down time each Nanny has differs. Some of these suggestions will require additional hours or pay for your Nanny, but it can give you more of your most precious resource-time. Time to spend truly enjoying your family and a peaceful evening, knowing that the day’s most pressing needs have been met. Call Caring Nannies today at 480-946-3423 to see how an experienced Nanny-Manager or Family Assistant can make your life easier.

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Is your Nanny Car ready for the Fall school season?

If you take the time to keep up with routine maintenance, you have added assurance that your children will be safe during the busy rush-hour morning runs to school and the after-school pick-ups and trips to after-school sporting events and activities. For the 5 most essential maintenance tips, read on.

1. Routine Maintenance
Keep the tires inflated to the manufacturers specs for best handling and life of the tires. Walk around the car every time you fill up on gas and give a visual inspection.

2. Check  that the following 5 fluids are at the proper levels every other time you gas up.

  • Engine oil-check at every other gas fill up and replace every 3-4,000 miles
  • Coolant/Antifreeze-check level every gas fill up. Flush every 2-5 years
  • Brake fluid-check once a month. Add more if the level is low. For passenger safety, brake fluid could be the most important fluid to maintain. It’s not  uncommon for brake fluid to leak, which can compromise the ability to stop in time.
  • Power-steering fluid. Check monthly while the car is warm
  • Transmission Fluid-Check every 25,000 miles or every 2 years

3. Keep on top of your Maintenance Schedule.

If you no longer have the schedule that came with your car, download one from the internet. Be diligent with routine tune-ups and check the battery life before January, when cold weather can affect your battery. Batteries in Phoenix last about two years.

4. Before the next big rain, check your windshield wipers.
Wipers in Arizona crack every two years if you park in the sun. Check the windshield wiper fluid quarterly. For more tips, click here.

5. You-the driver- The most critical factor in keeping your charges safe, is the continual attentiveness of the you, driver. Do not allow a cell phone, a dropped sippy cup, or a fight between kids in the back seat, to deter you from driving as if everyones’ life depends on your continual attentiveness, because it does.

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An outgoing, bubbly and dynamic Nanny/Manager, Briana had nurturing and loving preschool teachers growing up and found she’d developed a passion for childcare herself. She babysat from the age of 12, and nannied through high school and college. Because of a cousin who contracted encephalitis and epilepsy, she became certified as a PCA (Personal Care Attendant) in order to be his caregiver. She learned how to change a g-tube and even transitioned into senior care, but her interests eventually narrowed down to childcare. She began nannying professionally, including two years with a newborn and later a preemie, and another year with two year old twins! She was also an after-school nanny for a family with 5 and 6 year old school-agers.

“When I transitioned from babysitter to nanny, I felt like I’d become a family member, she explained. Having a child run up to you and throw their arms around you means so much,” she shared. “As a nanny, I’m teaching them, cooking with them, disciplining them, teaching manners, respect, and academics. I love bonding with kids and teaching them new things. Seeing the child connect with you and ask about you when you’re not there, makes it worth it for me. That to me is everything.”

One of her strengths is that she’s good at getting things done. In the words of one of her references: “She is very good at keeping the kids on task, keeping them focused on what they need to get done. She doesn’t let them run over her. She’s very loving but is very good at ‘Come on guys, lets get this done.’ Homework, shower, activities. She’s my best nanny for that. She’s reliable, gets stuff done, and when they get home they’ll know its done. I had another sitter who focused more on academics and another sitter who read all the time to them and got them into reading but maybe she didn’t empty the dishwasher all the time. With Briana, I’d come home, the kids were in their PJs, showered, dinner eaten and homework done.”

Another family described her strengths this way: “Playfulness, genuinely loves the kids, patient, respectful, positive with kids, makes them comfortable, puts them at ease, is a good disciplinarian.” This Mom shared with us that Briana made her life easier on several levels by cooking dinner, doing laundry, cleaned house, drove the kids to many activities, cleaned the fridge, and did any extra help needed. She even traveled to Florida with this family.

Briana is also very patient, and is skilled at making mundane events special. She keeps checklists and is organized and prepared. She researches educational activities and comes in on Monday mornings with a plan. Confident, fun and smart, she has a double  BA in Law and Public Affairs plans to start law school in 2015 or 2016. Since she’ll be working full time and taking night school classes, Briana is able to give a family a five to six year commitment with gradually decreasing hours. Perfect for a young family as kids start school and then only need an after school nanny. Most of her experience is with ages newborn to four years. Briana was recently placed in a full-time nanny manager position with a family with a six month old baby in North Scottsdale. Keep up the good work, Briana!


Beth Weise

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